Sunday, September 30, 2012

The NMEA 2012 conference

Who needs Vegas when you can go to the Royal Pacific Resort. You couldn't find a better place to hold the National Marine Electronics Association's 2012 annual conference. This is my second year as judge for the annual NMEA technology awards. I was joined by Tim Queeney, editor of Ocean Navigator magazine who is this year's senior judge. You know this because his robe has the four gold stripes. Glenn Law, editor of Saltwater Sportsman is our new judge who replaced Ben Ellison.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chilling me softly

Okay gentlemen, here is the problem. The client wants to put air conditioning on his boat, and power it with a small portable generator. The boat will also need an AC power backbone, and breakers, along with a GFI outlet in the cabin. Oh yeah, the owner has an existing small AC inlet that he may still want to use to power the charger, and or use the new shore power/generator system. Oh, I forgot we have to do everything in 20 amps because that is all that is available at the dock.

What do you think? Yes Bob? "Well I don't know boss. The big problem with using a small generator is the surge load when the air conditioning compressor starts, but maybe if the generator is large enough it might work. You will also have to have some sort of way to stop the small charger outlet from back from feeding into the AC system. I dunno, all of that with only 20 amps? It sounds dicey to me, maybe it can be done."

Good waffle there Bob. Do you want some maple syrup on it? What do you think Harley? "Sure Chief, it's doable with some forethought. There are some technologies available to deal with the air conditioning start up surge issues, and a breaker could be installed to control the AC back feed issue." Sound good Harley, and Bob quit playing with that slide rule, you're driving me nuts.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Deadliest cooking

I first met Travis Lofland from the F/V Time Bandit at the West Marine flagship store opening in Sarasota. He was appearing there along Edgar Hansen from The F/V Northwestern. Travis looked like he just stepped off a crab boat, and had. He was in between trips sporting an unruly mop of hair, and a full beard. This time not so much, short hair, no beard, and he was proudly promoting his new cookbook "Catch". 

Friday, September 7, 2012

High tech, live fast and die young

My grandfather was born in 1898 and he was living in an exciting, and enlightening time. Horse and wagon were still used to deliver fresh dairy, ice, and coal, but you could send a telegram across the country, and it would be delivered that day. A train could take you from coast to coast in three or four days, and his neighbors had basic electric lighting. He lived well past seeing a man walk on the moon. In his later years he often wistfully talked about the good old days, and thought things were moving too quickly. I was born in 1952, and technology was now changing so fast that my generation needed seat belts.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Presidential boating

After doing some research, most modern presidents have generally eschewed recreational boating. When you see them on a boat, it's generally for a photo op, or a day trip on a friends yacht. The notable exceptions are Jack Kennedy who was by all measures an enthusiastic boater, George Bush Sr. who has, and uses a center console fishing boat, and Herbert Hover who was avid fisherman. Although Jimmy Carter was a graduate of the Naval  Academy, and a submariner, his boating presidency is marked by the selling of the Sequoia, and the infamous rabbit incident.

Let's put President Obama, and Governor Romney in a debate setting, and have them talk about boats. In this case Governor Romney owns at least a 29' Searay bowrider, a small Boston Whaler, ski boat, and a couple PWC's that are kept at his vacation home in New Hampshire. It is not believed that President Obama has a boat. They both do support boating, in their own ways.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bird odure

I used the word odure because a lot of people may not be familiar with its definition, and it sounds a little more intellectual. But from this point forward I am going to use "Number Two" in place of it, so that at least second graders will have a firm grasp of the subject matter. And no giggling now kids, or I'll start using the Urban Dictionary synonyms for the word, and you will definitively be instructed to leave the room.